Lots Of Folks Have Lots Of Guns But It Only Takes One.

Gun-sense Nation is all agog because of some news out of Harvard and Northeastern which claims that roughly 3% of Americans adults – which is 7.7 million – between them own 8 to 140 guns each, for an average personal ownership of 17 guns.  These ‘super’ gun owners, according to the not-yet-but-soon-to-be released study, together have 130 million guns sitting around their homes which constitutes what Mother Jones calls the ‘craziest’ statistic about guns.

buyback            Let me break the news gently to my friends in Gun-sense Nation: having 17 guns around is nothing.  Down in Chesterfield County, SC, ol’ boy name of Brent Nicholson’s got, according to the County Sheriff, an ‘ass-load’ of guns, probably around 5,000 or so. Out in Southern California in the ritzy neighborhood known as Pacific Palisades, the cops broke into the home of a fellow who had been dead for a couple of days and found over a thousand guns.

Right now I’m kinda light when it comes to guns that I personally own; last time I looked my pile was somewhere around 60 or so, and I hope my wife doesn’t read this column because she’ll tell me to sell some more.  I got a call from a fellow the other day who’s step-father just died, his mother found a bunch of guns down in the basement and doesn’t want them around the house so I told him that I would buy the whole bunch, sight unseen, for five thousand bucks.  To which my wife then said, “we don’t have any room for the damn things so do me a favor and sell some of the ones you have.” I don’t see her selling any of her shoes, btw, but I gotta sell my guns, right?

I get lots of nasty comments from members of Gun-nut Nation whenever I refer to my guns as ‘adult toys.’  But that’s exactly what they are.  Owning all that metal doesn’t in any way make me ‘free’ (actually it ties me down because I can’t imagine packing the damn things up and moving them all to a new home); it doesn’t protect me from terrorism or any other kind of threat; it doesn’t support my 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’  I own all those guns because I like owning guns – it’s as simple as that.  I had toy guns around me from almost the time I could walk, I bought my first, real gun when I was twelve years old, over the sixty years since then I have probably bought and sold more than 1,000 personal guns. Sound like a lot?  That’s a little more than one a month. That’s no big deal.

And by the way, between 1956 when I bought my first real gun and 2008, not a single one of those transactions was protected by any kind of Constitutional ‘right,’ and not a single one of those transactions was in any delayed or prohibited because I didn’t have any kind of Constitutional protection for owning a gun.  If the 2nd Amendment is what keeps a gun-grabber like Hillary from taking away my guns, how come gun-grabbing liberals didn’t try to ban guns before Dick Heller took his case to the Supreme Court?

You can invest gun ownership with any kind of social, cultural or legal rationale that you choose, but the only reason why most people actually own guns is because there’s nothing that says they can’t. They might want to believe that their guns will protect them from crime, and on very rare occasions someone actually does use a gun to keep a bad guy from breaking down the back door, but a lot more people accidentally shoot themselves than shoot someone else who otherwise might cause them harm.

Is there any connection between the number of guns I own or have owned and the fact that 115,000 Americans get injured or killed each year with guns?  There sure is.  Called a gun.

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5 thoughts on “Lots Of Folks Have Lots Of Guns But It Only Takes One.

  1. I think it was the Harvard/Northwestern study that said a lot of the new gun owners are buying handguns and have never owned a gun before. They worry me as far as genuine gun safety (i.e., ability to safely handle, store, and shoot the things and knowing self defense law if they plan on using a gun for self defense). A friend of mine teaches the 15 hr New Mexico CCW class. I recommend it to anyone buying a gun for home defense, even if they never plan on carrying the damn thing concealed.

    I’ve known several people who own a lot of guns including a former neighbor who bought a half ton gun safe to store scores of the things. He was a law enforcement officer, retired government machinist, and gun nut. All owning a lot of guns usually means is that someone likes guns and enjoys collecting examples of same. My neighbor, for example.

    Meanwhile, Arcan Cetin had one gun. One too many for him. Ma Jones may get breathless about people owning lots of guns but by and large, people like Mike and my former neighbor are not the problem.

  2. There’s nothing particularly shocking about hoarding whether it’s the recent news of some old women whose son’s skeletal remains were discovered beneath all her years of accumulated debris or guns stockpiled to the ceiling for no practical reason. What the Harvard study revealed was that, unlike what GNN has claimed for so long, ownership of millions of guns in the country are not evenly dispersed across a mass population of patriots, as they have tried to imply, but are in the possession of –GASP! — a fraction of that population. I suspect it’s the result of a combination of obsessive hoarding and the rise of the zany “prepper” movement. In either event, hoarding is still hoarding and most psychiatrists will tell you it stems from a very unbalanced mental state.

    • So is someone who has a lot of HO trains in the basement, wine bottles in cold storage, or shoes in the closet “hoarding”. Face it. Some people hoard and some people avidly collect. It goes to motive, as many things do. You’re showing your biases here. As far as many guns being in possession of the three percent, that doesn’t surprise me. Hunting is down and was always a minority avocation. Keeping a gun to ward off zombie attacks is likewise not so common. Like income inequality, we have firearms inequality….

      • You’re equating hoarding with collecting. Why I don’t know. I have a analog camera collection, all of them are kept in working condition so I can use them, and I occasionally add to them. There’s a major difference between that and what’s known as “hoarding disorder.” — a situation where I have an hundreds maybe thousands of cameras piled throughout the house to the point where I have no idea how many there are, their condition, etc. or refuse to dispose of the ones that are clearly junk and have no actual sentimental or material value. Lots of hoarders defend and rationalize their hoarding by calling it “collecting”, and will accommodate their hoarding to the sacrifice of everything else in their life. But the two are worlds apart. One is a type of mental health issue, the other is not. Hoarding is a treatable condition. Collecting is not because its not a condition. It’s just a hobby. Collectors take care of the things they collect; hoarders just accumulate with no regard to function, use, condition, etc. Again, what the item or objects being hoarded are, is not what makes the obsession an issue. It’s the compulsion to hoard itself that is. There are lots of ways to rationalize hoarding, but that’s what addicts do: they rationalize their addiction rather than seek treatment to understand their compulsion and end it.

      • Sorry but it was you that used the term hoarding, not me. “… I suspect it’s the result of a combination of obsessive hoarding and the rise of the zany “prepper” movement. In either event, hoarding is still hoarding and most psychiatrists will tell you it stems from a very unbalanced mental state….” so that was your own notion. You have some explaining to do in trying to pin that equivalence on me.

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